By Mike Butler

When was the last time your little piggies went to market? You need to put your best foot forward and go see Marie Jardine. Read on and find out why.

Marie Jardine was born and raised in Dartmouth. In 1977 her dad retired from the Navy and they moved to Ontario. She went to high school in Kincardine, a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Huron and then went to Sheridan College to study graphic design and worked in Toronto for a few years. She says, “I worked for a tiny art dept in a giant company and realized I had to either get a new job or move and get a new job. So I came back to Nova Scotia in September 1986. I worked for a design firm in Halifax then decided to quit so I could go to NSCAD full time. After one semester of design, I switched to the jewellery department. I did two exchanges, one in London, England and another in Pforzheim, Germany and graduated in ’92 with a BFA.”

Between selling jewellery at shops and markets, Marie started making fountains and more sculptural pieces and won some prizes in the NS Metal Arts Guild competitions. In 2002 she started work on a large commission for the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Halifax. With the help of her partner, they finished the Poppy Towers in 2003.

Marie started selling at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market around this time too. She says, “I was getting tired of the long drive into the city from where I lived near New Germany. I moved to the Valley in 2006 and opened my working studio in Canning. I had to live in my studio for financial reasons and I ended up with copper poisoning as a result. Following that unfortunate event, I ended up being a friend’s case study for reflexology and half-way through the study I thought it might be a nice thing to do for a living.”

Marie started her training in Chinese Interactive Reflexology in Feb 2012. Just after she got her certificate, she spent four years living in Kentville while she worked on some large art pieces. The Wolfville Farmers’ Market commissioned her to paint some curtains to hide their storage and decorate the Wednesday night market. It was quite a challenge painting so large on untreated canvas, and she also started making work for the Uncommon Common Art Project, so even with reflexology under her belt, art was never far away.

She states, “I kept taking lots of courses to further my reflexology training. I realized that a lot of people don’t like their feet touched so I took two courses on hand reflexology and one for the face. I took a course in Indian head mand realized then I wanted to learn about Reiki energy. So I took levels 1 and 2 and it felt like the icing on the cake. I find the Reiki helps me in all kinds of ways and I’m able to read and deal with my clients’ energy so much better. Then I got an opportunity to move back to Canning so I did and managed to save enough money to take the course that would get me a Canadian Certified Reflexology Therapist designation. Last winter I took apart my painting studio to take on my case studies in my beautiful riverside apartment. I wrote my exam and hands-on test in April and I am now registered and insured!”

Marie started learning about the benefits of reflexology while her mother was in palliative care. She could definitely see the relief in the lines of her face as soon as she touched her feet. Later, when she was a case study, she realized first hand how it could help heal the body.

So, now it’s time to get your little piggies to the market everyone! Marie is very happy to be back at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. She’s offering mini spa treatments like a foot coffee scrub, hand massage for carpal tunnel or a facial massage. You can find her outside until the end of September. And the other thing that is unique about her business is that she can come to YOUR door!

Marie’s biggest influences would be her mother and godmother. She says, “they worked for themselves and did what they loved and had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve also had some great teachers and friends that have helped along the way. I’ve always learned by observing then doing for myself so I have lots of people to thank for showing me how. Goals right now are to get my business going. I’m in the SEB Program that helps me start a business. Not to mention building my client base and writing material for some workshops I’ll be offering soon. I’m taking two courses this fall that will help me to specialize in lymph drainage and I’ll be looking for people with lymph issues for my case studies. I volunteer with the Deep Roots Festival and I offer treatments for the musicians which can help them to perform better. They are amazing to work with especially when they see that it works!! I’m also volunteering for the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope in September. I’ll be massaging the walkers’ feet. This is a special event for me as Ovarian Cancer took my mother’s life in 2007.”

To book Marie she can be reached at 902-681-5633 which is home and office. Imagine the possibilities for her services: weddings, parties, anything! She offers a sliding scale for those on fixed income, low wages or unemployed, military, and first responders. Or find Little Piggies Reflexology on Facebook and get in touch that way! Enjoy!